Mindfulness Support and Resources for Difficult Times

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness offers us the opportunity to be more present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing in the moment — free from distraction or judgment, with an attitude of care, curiosity and openness. It means being aware of our thoughts, feelings and moods without getting too caught up in them. This is a skill we all desperately need as we face uncertain times ahead, and all deal with extremely difficult emotions, support each other, as well staying focused and present and productive whilst working from home.

Mindfulness has been researched scientifically for over 35 years and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, among many other things, and has strong positive correlations with wellbeing, leadership and performance.

Mindfulness is not a concept or theory, it’s a practice: a way to strengthen your ability to be more mindful everyday. The more frequently you work out at the gym, the more physical benefits you notice. Think of mindfulness the same way – a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it.  It may take a while to start to notice any benefits from your practice, so don’t give up after a few days! Stick at it daily for at least two weeks to start with.

Mindfulness Meditation Practices

We have a selection of recordings for beginners to listen along to from kiwi MBSR Trained Mindfulness teachers.

Normally we would work with participants on a Mindfulness programme over a number of weeks, however we recognise right now that may not be possible, so our hope is that these offer you something helpful through these challenging times.

The main thing to remember is: unlike signing up for a mindfulness programme where you are provided with lots of support and encouragement, you will need to keep yourself motivated each day to practice some form of mindfulness meditation. There are lots to choose from below, as well as some of our top app selections.

We will continue to add to this collection – so keep checking in from time to time.


Short Meditation Practices

3 Minutes - Be Where Your Feet Are - Debbie

3 Minutes - Mindful Minute - Debbie

4 Minutes - Breathing Space Practice - Betsy

7 Minutes - Self Compassionate Break - Debbie

7 Minutes - STOP Practice - Debbie

9 Minutes - Working with difficulty using R.A.I.N

10 Minutes - Soothing Breath Practice

12 Minutes - Mindful Moving - Debbie

13 Minutes - Body scan Practice - Betsy

14 Minutes - Anchoring your Attention practice  - Debbie


Longer Meditation Practices

17 Minutes - Thoughts Are Not The Enemy - Betsy

20 Minutes - Body Scan Practice - Debbie

20 Minutes - Standing Movement Practice - Betsy

22 Minutes - Keeping The Body In Mind - Betsy

27 Minutes - Compassionate Body Scan Practice - Debbie


Hikitia Te Hā - Māori breathing exercise

Source: www.allright.org.nz

Recording: Hikitia te Hā Taiaha


About: Hikitia Te Hā is a series of simple te ao Māori breathing exercises that anyone can learn. When we focus on our breath, it allows us to become more present by calming the mind and body. Hikitia Te Hā was developed by Rawiri Hindle. Practising Hikitia Te Hā on a daily basis can help make us more present in the moment, and more aware of te hā (the breath).


Set Up: You can do this practice sitting or standing, or allow yourself some space to follow along with the movements. 



  1. 1. The In Breath - Start each action by breathing slowly through your nose on the in-breath (hā ki roto), with simple, open-hearted attention.
  2. 2. The Out Breath - On the out-breath relax and let your jaw drop so it’s nice and relaxed, mouth slightly open, and make the sound of your breath going outward.
  3. 3. Go Slow - Practice the movements slowly, like tai chi. You may want to create your own movements as a body form for the different ātua. Be creative!


Note: You can find out more about the practice here, ​​and the translations explaining the sacred meanings of each phrase. - https://www.allright.org.nz/tools/hikitia-te-ha 


COVID-19 Specific Resources

10 Self-Compassion Practices for Covid-19 and related audio meditations from The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Covid-19 Well-Being Toolkit and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Healthy Minds - list of credible articles and resources

Covid-19 & Mindfulness: Resources for health and care staff from The Mindfulness Institute - fantastic resource jam packed with loads of great material

Mindfulness for Staying at Home and After - An excellent document with updated covid-19 resources for those at home - from The Mindfulness Initiative 

Free Online Mindfulness Sessions & Introductory Course from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre

Online Practices by The Center for Mindfulness, UC SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Five Ways to Well Being at Work Toolkit - The Mental Health Foundation NZ provides a toolkit including fact sheets, tips, tools and templates to make it easy for you to support your teams.



Health.govt.nz - NZ Ministry of Health website

Allright.org.nz - For practical ideas on looking after yourself

Greater Good Magazine - Greater Good's guide to well being during Corona Virus

Donothing.uk - A great resource for young people or students who are stuck at home - From the Oxford Mindfulness Centre

Five Ways to Well Being at Work Toolkit - The Mental Health Foundation NZ provides a toolkit including fact sheets, tips, tools and templates to make it easy for you to support your teams.

Mindfulness for Staying at Home and After - An excellent document with updated covid-19 resources for those at home - from The Mindfulness Initiative 

www.mindfulleader.org/ - Mindful Leader



10 Ways Your Brain Reacts to Uncertain Times  - Neuroscientist Amishi Jha explains how the pandemic is hijacking our brain's attention

Who helps the leaders? - If you’re a people leader, the chances are that current unfolding events have presented a range of new challenges to navigate. If so.. who do you turn to for support?

Now is a great time to start practicing mindfulness - An extremely insightful view into the world of emotion at work by Matthias Birk - Harvard Business Review. It explains how suppressing, escaping, or acting impulsively can ultimately undermine our relationships, performance and wellbeing.

Agency in Urgent Times from The UK Mindfulness Initiative



All your sleep questions, Dr. Matthew Walker - Episode # 221

Coronavirus Sanity Guide from Ten Percent Happier - interesting podcast and great free COVID-19 related meditations



There are lots of books on the topic here are some of our top picks:

Mindfulness: A practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Book & CD & App): Mark Williams & Danny Penman

Modern Mindfulness: Rohan Gunatillake

Altered Traits, Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body: Daniel Goleman, Richard J Davidson

The Mindful Way through Depression: Mark Williams

Mindful Drinking How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life: Rosamund Dean

Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing

The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive

The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress



3 Secrets of Resilient People - Dr Lucy Hone's award winning Ted Talk is an inspiring personal account against adversity

Understanding Corona Virus Anxiety - with Dr. Jud Brewer MD PhD



There are dozens of apps on the market these days. Here is a small selection of ones to try out:


Mindfulness: Finding Peace 

10% Happier

Unwinding Anxiety


Your ideas

If you would like any other suggestions or help, we would love to hear from you! 

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